Obituary


SMITH KATHLEEN NOBLE SMITH passed away on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 in Austin, Texas at the home of her sister Ann, surrounded by her loving family. She was born in Houston, Texas on December 25, 1959. She attended Poe Elementary School, Lanier Junior High School, St. John's High School and graduated from HSPVA. She earned her undergraduate degrees at Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship by the French Embassy and pursued her post-doctoral studies at the Institut Curie in Paris, France. She continued working in the fields of DNA recombination, yeast genetics and molecular biology and evolution during her employment with private pharmaceutical companies Mixis:Eucodis and Eviagenics. and co-authored articles in the publications Cell, Yeast, and Current Biology. She was also employed by BioEdit for whom she edited papers in her fields of specialty. 
Kathleen was a voracious reader, naturalist, logic puzzle solver and loved cooking food of various ethnicities. She enjoyed swimming and knew the location of every public swimming pool in Paris. She kept up with her many friends from school and graduate school and with her work colleagues. Her many friends in Paris will host a remembrance for her there, in late March. Although she was a fervent nonsmoker, she fought lung cancer for four years. In spite of recent memory problems caused by a complication, meningeal carcinoma, she maintained a lively interest in working Sudoku and other math games. 
She is survived by her mother Pamela Smith Devine and husband David J. Devine, sister Ann Pamela Smith and husband Edward Tovar, brother Thomas David Smith, Jr. and wife Patti, sister Claire Howard Smith and husband Russell Murrell, aunts and uncles Joan and Leslie Ottinger, Geraldine Smith Priest, John C. Riley, Jr. and Nancy Riley and cousins Allyson Cook, Jana Paris, David Ottinger, John Wagner, Elizabeth Ottinger, Sarah Ottinger, Jennifer Chetwynd, and Darcy Pierce. She was also loved by nieces Jennifer Milliken, Erin Milliken and Samantha Smith and nephews Jack Murrell and Mitchell Smith. She was predeceased by her father Thomas David Smith, her grandparents David R. and Katherine Smith and John C. and Kathleen Riley, her uncle Denton C. Priest and cousin Denton C. Priest, Jr.
The family would like to express gratitude to her doctor, Laurent Taillade, M.D. and the wonderful nursing staffs at L'hôpital Pitié Salpétrière, Paris and Hospice Austin.
A reception to celebrate Kathleen's life will be held at 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 5 at the Inman Gallery at 3917 Main Street, Houston, Texas, 713-526-7800.

Published in Houston Chronicle on March 2, 2011
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